In a VMware NSX setup, before an upgrade to ESXi 7.0 and later, make sure that the NSX kernel module is part of the image or upgrade baseline.

To use ESXCLI for the upgrade of an ESXi host in a vSphere system that includes NSX-T Data Center, you must follow the procedures described in Upgrading Hosts by Using ESXCLI Commands:


If your vSphere system includes VMware NSX, before you start an upgrade of your ESXi hosts to 7.0 and later from an earlier version of ESXi, you must ensure that the NSX kernel module is part of the software specification or baseline that you use for the upgrade. You can use ESXCLI commands to upgrade your ESXi hosts and re-install the NSX kernel module.
  • Download from VMware Customer Connect the NSX Kernel Module for VMware ESXi 7.0 zip file for the version of VMware NSX deployed in your environment. For example, for VMware NSX 4.0.1.


  1. Place your ESXi host in maintenance mode. For more information, see Place a Host in Maintenance Mode.
  2. Download an ESXi 7.x image profile in a software depot that is accessible through a URL or in an offline ZIP depot.
  3. Run the ESXCLI command esxcli software profile update --depot <path-to-depot-file> -p ESXi-X.X.X-XXXXXX-standard --allow-downgrades --no-sig-check. For example: esxcli software profile update --depot /vmfs/volumes/5e8fd197-68bce4dc-f8f1-005056af93cf/ -p ESXi-7.0.0-xxx-standard --allow-downgrades --no-sig-check. For more information, see Upgrade or Update a Host with Image Profiles.
  4. Install the NSX kernel module by using the ESXCLI command esxcli software vib install -d <path_to_kernel_module_file> --no-sig-check. For example: esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/
  5. Reboot the ESXi host.
  6. Move your ESXi host out of maintenance mode.